on 11 September 2012
Volume four of the 'trilogy' has arrived at last and it does not disappoint. The great thing about this, and the other books in the series, is that Ian lets the bands do the talking and offers only minimal, yet well thought out, comment and criticism. He doesn't attempt to offer up some meaningless sociological bull about the various scenes and sub-genres and is massively enthusiastic to boot. Each region is carved up as usual with the main bands in the area given adequate space to describe their experiences, ups, downs and emotions. I was starting to listen to a much wider range of (non punk) music by the early 90s but still fondly remember many of the bands and some of the characters noted here. Sadly lacking are Crane, the Kings of Oblivion and Vehicle Derek but they may well have been some of the groups that did not respond to Ian's letters. This is a must have for all fans of UK punk and sits nicely on the shelf next to Volumes 1-3 and the, still classic, 'American Hardcore' by Steven Blush. Highly recommended ... and please write volume five!